Thirty-one Sacramento Waldorf School 6th graders were knighted recently in a special ceremony that culminates their study of the Middle Ages. In mid-March, students participated in two-week-long personal challenges around moral-social kindness, physical fitness and academic-intellectual, then slept overnight at the school to celebrate their knighthood with a parent-planned feast. Students designed crests that represent their personal values; at the ceremony, they wore handmade tunics bearing their crests.
The knighting ceremony kicks off a social-emotional learning curriculum at Sacramento Waldorf School that guides students in character development, says Megan Sullivan, Social Emotional Learning Teacher at the school. “Sixth grade children can start to become cliquey, so I do a lot of work around getting them to see each other outside of select friendship groups,” she says. The knighting ceremony guides students to focus on people they admire, their modern-day heroes. Students also choose a personal motto that represents their values. Classroom teacher Jody Arthur gave a speech and led the knighting ceremony.